Emerging Scholar Profile - Dr. Edmund Goh
My name is Dr Edmund Goh. This is my personal reflection as an emerging scholar. Currently, I am a Senior Lecturer in Hospitality and Tourism Management, School of Business and Law, Edith Cowan University, Australia. I obtained my Master by Research (Goh, 2007) from the University of Wollongong in 2007 under the principal supervision of Professor Sara Dolnicar and PhD (Goh, 2015a) from the University of Queensland, Australia in 2015 under the principal supervision of Professor Brent Ritchie. I am immensely grateful to both supervisors who have been great role models and mentors in helping shape my research career as an emerging scholar. Both mentors have always set the bar high and only expect the best and nothing less. This basic principle has anchored into my research career to strive for research excellence through impactful quality research.
The decision to embark on a PhD journey was one of the greatest things that happened in my life. It can be best described as a bittersweet vicarious feeling of being overly ambitious of trying to solve all world problems in 80,000 words. At the beginning, I was not fully aware of the intensity and discovery of knowledge involved in gaining such an understanding would entail. As the PhD journey progressed, little did I realised how much I didn’t know, and the inflated confidence started to create self-doubt. This is where good supervision and critical reflections are essential. The word “why” was an adverb frequently used in discussions and milestone reports. Why did you choose this topic? Why did you use this theory? Why are you using this methodology?
Before embarking on my PhD, I was lecturing at the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School, Torrens University Australia. In the vein of serendipity, my PhD impetus stemmed from a problematic behaviour at the Blue Mountains National Park where visitors were often engaging in dangerous non-compliant activities that resulted in death at times. This practical problem resulted in the birth of my PhD thesis to investigate “Visitor non-compliance at national parks: An extension of the theory of planned behaviour model with pro-environmental values”. Ever since, I have been passionate about visitor non-compliance in national parks and has subsequently published four research journal articles in this area (Esfandiar, Dowling, Pearce & Goh, 2020; Goh, 2020a; Goh, 2020b; Goh, Ritchie & Jie, 2017).
After completing my PhD, I realised that my own academic identity as a researcher has developed and is still developing given the divergent research lens and landscape. I have learnt to be more pragmatic, more adventurous, less conventional, insist on theoretical underpinnings, and respect the academia industry. More importantly, my research mantra is to ensure that any research undertaken must be used as the nexus to bridge the gap between academia and industry.
As my research journey continues to advance, I have started to segment my research into three key areas: hospitality workforce, hospitality education, and contemporary tourism issues. Within hospitality workforce research, I am interested in improving the working conditions of frontline hospitality workers and developing the future Generation Z workforce with eight journal articles published about hospitality workforce studies (Goh & Okumus, 2020; Scerri, Presbury & Goh, 2020; Goh & Jie, 2019; Lemy, Goh & Jie, 2019; Goh & Lee, 2018; Goh & Kong, 2018; Robinson, Goh, Kralj, Solnet & Callan, 2016; Robinson, Kralj, Solnet, Goh & Callan, 2014). The second area of my research foci looks at hospitality education. This is important as I strongly believe education must be meaningful and translate into employment outcomes. I have since published 13 journal articles that includes innovative teaching pedagogies, academic misconduct, and student satisfaction (Goh & Sigala, 2020; Goh & Jun, 2020; Goh & Kim, 2020; Goh & King, 2019; Frawley, Goh & Law, 2019; Goh, Nguyen & Law, 2017; Goh, Muskat & Tan, 2017; Goh & Scerri, 2016; Fatima, Khan & Goh, 2015; Goh, 2015b, 2013; Goh, 2011; Goh & Ritchie, 2011). My third research area explores contemporary tourism issues such as elderly tourism (Wen, Huang & Goh, 2020; Wen, Yu, Huang & Goh, 2020), suicide travel (Wen, Goh & Yu, 2019; Yu, Wen, Goh & Aston, 2019), disability travel (Tao, Goh, Huang & Moyle, 2019), and COVID19 tourism impact (Ying, Wang, Liu, Wen & Goh, 2020; Zheng, Goh & Wen, 2020).
As an emerging scholar, I have developed a passion for good teaching. My philosophy of teaching is to ensure the learning experience is meaningful, relevant and capable of effective real-world application by linking curricula, pedagogy and assessment in a more productive way. My focus is to connect these productive pedagogies through knowledge integration to devise an inquiry-based curriculum. Using experiential learning theory as a pedagogical frame, students are engaged in critical thinking, problem solving and decision making in contexts that are personally relevant to them.
During my journey as an emerging scholar, my teaching and research efforts have been recognised with a number of awards. In 2018, I received two awards from the School of Business and Law at Edith Cowan University: Excellence in Research by an Emerging Scholar Award; and Teaching and Learning Award for Impact on Learning. In 2019, I received the Mentoring in Teaching and Learning Award from the School of Business and Law at Edith Cowan University; and the Early Career Researcher Highlight Award from Edith Cowan University.
As in the case of all Early Career Researchers, I feel the pressure to publish and contribute to the body of knowledge. My best advice to other Early Career Researchers and higher degree students is to make as many mistakes early in their career, network, collaborate, seek good mentors, work hard, teach, and do not fall into the rabbit hole of imposter syndrome. Obtaining a PhD is the beginning of the end, and the end of a beginning. Always remember that your academic journey is like running a marathon and not a 100 metres sprint. Let your PhD be one of your greatest legacy in life.
Being married and having two kids have reshaped my priorities where work life balance is essential. To relax, I enjoy playing the guitar and singing Disney songs for my kids. I have a peculiar hobby of visiting hotels and aim to visit all 6807 hotels in Australia before I retire. In closing, I am grateful to everyone who have accompanied me in my pursuit of a PhD and an academic career. While the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School, Torrens University Australia gave me the necessary teaching, administrative and fundamental research skills, Edith Cowan University opened up my research career and mentored me into becoming a world class researcher. As cliché as it sounds, I see the silver lining at the end of my PhD tunnel.
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